Al-Majmoua, a non-profit organization that provides micro-credits to needy individuals in Lebanon, said it has extended more than 20,000 short-term loans worth $15 million since the start of its operations in January 1998. The organization originally targeted women who want to improve their business but do not have access to formal banking services, but then expanded its offering to men as well.
Al-Majmoua offers two main loan categories. The Group Loan is for women micro-entrepreneurs who guarantee each other in groups of at least five. Loans in this category range from $200 to $1,300 and must be repaid in 4 or 6 months. The Individual Loan program is for men and women micro-entrepreneurs and requires minimal guarantee, such as a co-signor or pledge of assets. Loans rage from $500 to $5,000 and must be repaid within one year.
As of the end of September, Al-Majmoua had 3,693 active clients in Beirut, Sidon, Tyre, Tripoli, Akkar and the Baalbek-Hermel regions. Outstanding loans totaled nearly $1.7 million, with overdue loans of between one to 12 months at $19,405, or 1.14 percent of the amount outstanding.
About 75 percent of loan recipients tend to reinvest their business profits in their enterprise. Al-Majmoua was created from a Save the Children US pilot program and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development, Save the Children USA, and the Lebanese government. Fransabank is the organization’s operational bank. — (Lebanon Invest)